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Effect of filler amount on thermoelastic properties of poly(dimethylsiloxane) networks
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End-linked poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) networks were prepared in the presence of fumed silica particles with hydroxyl groups at their surfaces. The silica particles were introduced into the polymer solution prior to end-linking. Hydroxyl ended PDMS chains were end-linked via the tetra functional crosslinker, tetraethoxysilane. The filler content varied in the range 0-5 wt%. Atomic Force Microscopy was used to image and characterize the silica particles. Swelling, stress-strain and thermoelasticity experiments were performed. The temperature coefficient and the energetic part of the force in uniaxial extension are found to increase with increasing silica amount. This observation is ascribed to effects contributed possibly by the adsorption layer around the silica particles.